Stepping into Uncle Ming's old world den, your senses are enlivened with the smell of incense and the wafting steam coming from the keyhole dumpling kitchen. Once your eyes have adjusted to the crimson darkness you'll find a number of nooks where you can perch on timber stools or lounge chairs. Once belonging to a printing press, these basement walls are now covered in traditional Chinese art, large timber doors with wrought iron detailing, and filled with bird cage light fittings, elaborate lamp shades and detailed lush upholstery.
The menu consists of 6 original cocktail creations ($17), and can be ordered by the tea pot ($38, enough for 3 people). The teapot cocktails are really well done. I often feel like 'jug' cocktails aren’t made to the same proportions as individual cocktails – this certainly wasn’t the case at Uncle Ming's. We ordered a refreshing citrus vodka cocktail with a bunch of fresh mint and orange slices. If you feel like pushing the envelope, there is a cocktail with chilli infused tequila, Thai basil and fresh lime which sounds like quite an adventure! If you are feeling very adventurous there are 2 punchy and fire-filled cocktails called "Bruce Lee" and "Chuck Norris", the owners are seemingly obsessed with them, try one if you dare!
They also have an excellent and reasonably-priced collection of ciders (including The Hills – my favourite!), Japanese beer and sake. You'll be sure to find something to wrap your greedy little fingers around.
On the food menu they offer edamame and a number of savoury and sweet dumplings ($7 for 3). The chicken & coriander and vegetarian dumplings were excellent - generous and flavoursome filling in a thin and silky casing. Sometimes they can take a little while to come out from the kitchen even on a quite night, but once they arrive you won't be complaining ;)
This bar has a fun and relaxed speakeasy vibe, which I have enjoyed quite a bit over the last few weeks.
Check it out if you dare, it's a cracker.
55 York Street